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Child Support

Child Support When Combined Gross Income Exceeds $250,000

In a recent decision, a panel of the Massachusetts Appeals Court considered a Probate and Family Court's modification judgment ordering the payment of additional child support that was calculated based upon the portion of the parties' joint income in excess of $250,000.  Martin v. Martin, 87 Mass. App. Ct. 1119 (2015) (pursuant to Rule 1:28).  

One Step Closer to Enforcing Foreign Child Support Orders: U.S. Ratification of the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support is Near

The cross-border enforcement of child support has long bedeviled parents and children who seek a delinquent parent's compliance with a court order. Given the many difficulties inherent to the enforcement of court orders in foreign jurisdictions, as well as the heavy costs associated with those efforts, many parents had a difficult time registering and enforcing child support orders if the debtor was in another country.

Modifying Child Support by Joint Petition

Massachusetts Courts allow for the filing of a Joint Petition For Modification Of Child Support Judgment, when both parents agree that an adjustment to an existing child support judgment is warranted.  Recent amendments to the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines provide that a child support judgment may be modified when "there is an inconsistency between the amount of the existing order and the amount that would result from the application of the Child Support Guidelines."  Modifying child support by joint petition may streamline uncontested support modification actions, as the Court may address such matters administratively and without the need for a hearing. 

New Child Support Guidelines

Following what is described as a comprehensive review of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Task Force, the Chief Justice of Massachusetts Trial Court released new Child Support Guidelines that became effective on August 1, 2013.  In the Trial Court's June 20, 2013 Press Release, it is noted that these revised Guidelines, which supersede any previous Guidelines, are intended to take into consideration current economic realities facing families in Massachusetts.  

Modification of Child Support: What legal standard should be applied in a child support modification action?

On March 12, 2013, the Supreme Judicial Court ("SJC") in Morales v. Morales - SJC-11104 ruled that a divorced parent need not prove the widely recognized legal standard of "material and substantial change in circumstance" in order to modify a child support order in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court.  

Registering a Foreign Child Support Order in Massachusetts

Registering a child support order that was obtained in another state or even in another country is accomplished in Massachusetts by following the procedure outlined in M.G.L. c. 209D. Otherwise known as the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ("UIFSA"), this statutory scheme allows petitioners to register and enforce child support orders here in Massachusetts even though they were obtained in another state or country.

Registering a Child Support Order from Another State in Massachusetts

Registering a child support order that was obtained in another state or even in another country is accomplished in Massachusetts by following the procedure outlined in M.G.L. c. 209D. Otherwise known as the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ("UIFSA"), this statutory scheme allows petitioners to register and enforce child support orders here in Massachusetts even though they were obtained in another state or country.

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